Janda Baik is one of my favourite destinations for a quick getaway. It musta been 2 or 3 years since the family and I last drove up here. And it musta been about 10 years since we last stayed at D’Ark. Horrible name for a hotel/resort but a lovely, lovely place.
In Janda Baik, some things have changed, some have stayed the same. Some of the changes are good, but most are not good. The climate is still cool but not as it was the first time or even the last time we were here. This, I think, is mainly due to the so-called ‘development’. There’s an increasing number of houses built by rich guys from the cities. Most of these are ugly and tasteless but what’s really bad about these new houses is that many, many trees have been sacrificed to make way for them.
D’Ark has stayed largely the same as before, which is good. They’ve added a few more chalets at the back but that’s OK, I forgive them. You have to make a buck or two. The price of the rooms has gone up but not prohibitively. (The workers were pleasantly surprised when I could remember their names, or so they thought. Actually I had the info on my Palm which has since been transferred to Google contacts and now available on my mobile devices.)
After lunch, we spent most of the afternoon in the water. It was a little shallow because of the dry weather. I’m hoping that it will rain hard tonight so that we’ll have more water to play with tomorrow. One of the things that have not changed and which is not good is the litter around the stream at the main picnic area at Pulau Santap. Maybe Malaysians will forever be litterers. I spent about 20 minutes picking up trash and putting them in one corner. I picked up just about everything. I drew the line at used baby napkins. Come on guys, how can you be so disgusting?
Else, this is a pleasant stay. I’m having fun, the kids are enjoying it. I’m just hoping that somebody would slow down the onslaught of this pristine place by the city-folks.
Here’s a short-primer for those of us who have never been here. Janda Baik literally means the good widow. Where they got this name from, I don’t know, I should find out. It’s a sort of very small town/village spread over around two lengths of road which diverge and then converge again. From these two points, each length of road is about 5km. It’s about 55km from KL. We got here from Damansara in about 45 minutes. It’s about 1850 feet above sea-level making it cool and really pleasant. At this time of writing, it’s almost midnight and the temperature feels like 25C. It’s probably about 32C in Damansara. Wait, here’s an idea: 45 minutes from KL, 7C cooler. Maybe I should move up here?